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Trade finance professionals normally work for large financial institutions, such as banks, and assist professionals in securing payments and managing risks related to business partners. For example, a trade finance professional might help an exporter establish a letter of credit with an importer, and ensure that all business associates have the cash flow necessary to pay for required products and services. It is common for trade finance recruitment to begin at the college level. For example, students in economics, finance, and accounting undergraduate programs might speak to trade finance recruiters who are searching for promising young talent.
Trade finance recruitment also takes place at the graduate level. As a matter of fact, it is common to find trade finance professionals who have master's degrees in fields such as international finance. This is especially true in more competitive job markets, where the qualifications of job candidates tend to be high. Trade finance is a global industry, meaning that there tend to be more individuals in job pools with a wide variety of qualifications and credentials.
It is common for a human resources (HR) professional at a financial institution to perform trade finance recruitment. The credentials that he or she looks for in new recruits depends largely on organizational culture and job openings. For example, one finance investment firm might prefer to hire young professionals who are not yet fully qualified. A firm might pay for these professionals to go through Certified Public Accountant (CPA) training so they can earn certification. In some cases, firms might fund graduate education of new recruits if executives believe this kind of education is valuable.
On the other hand, trade finance recruitment might be directed more toward senior professionals who have years of experience. In these instances, job candidates might communicate directly with professionals at the executive level instead of with HR representatives. Individuals who land high level positions often do so through professional networking.
Trade finance is an international industry, so it can be useful to know several languages. When representatives of a financial institution perform trade finance recruitment, they might look specifically for candidates who are fluent in languages spoken in countries where their firms do business. In most cases, a fluent understanding of business English is required.
Interviews are almost always a part of trade finance recruitment. Job candidates are most successful when they dress professionally and demonstrate a strong understanding of the specific workings of a financial institution. Prior to a job interview, a trade finance job candidate can benefit from reading about the different clients a financial firm handles and about different aspects of a firm's organizational culture, such as its values and priorities.